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Friday, March 25, 2011

Let's Focus On Sharing Pie In Janesville

Uh-oh. That word "sharing" is in there. It must be a Socialist plot. This posting is a response to an editorial published in Thursday's Janesville Gazette written by Forward Janesville's John Beckord.

In his writing, Beckord tries to do several things. First he claims that the business establishment group Forward Janesville cultivates a working relationship with state administrations and politicians from either side of the aisle to make the best of things - whatever they are. That's not true as my previous posting shows that the group will publicly oppose the state's leadership and legislation if it runs counter to their own ideas. As far as anyone can tell, Scott Walker's budget plans satisfy the group's goals. Knowing the group's political ideology, I would have been shocked if FJ opposed Walker's budget or the GOP legislators.

Secondly, he claims the group is non-partisan and that they don't fund candidates - that simply by saying so - it must be true. However, the group's own top donors within the organization and their key membership are nearly all verifiably committed right-wing corporate ideologues who donate substantial amounts to Republican candidates and incumbents compared to Democratic candidates. A random sampling shows a margin of at least 20 to 1. Some of the top donors don't donate to Democrats - ever. Sorry to say, but Forward Janesville is nothing without its donor membership and their membership says "partisan." Who's right?

Thirdly, he downplays emailers who complained about "massive tax breaks" given to corporations. Beckord brings up only the $140 million Walker tax break to corporations and because it's a "future" tax liability, it won't have much effect on the current deficit. That's okay if it works for you.

But what about all the other tax breaks, tax credit zones, TIF tax shifts, corporate tax loopholes and surplus fund hand-outs? This is the ideological issue that is fueling a class war. Personally, I think if any tax credits are given for job creation at all - the workers should get them to help spur demand. Outrageous huh? But I also believe the Federal government should ban state and local communities across the country from offering selective tax credits and cash hand-outs to stock-owned and wealthy companies to compete for jobs. Allowing this bribery/extortion atmosphere to continue makes a mockery of good government and institutionalizes crony capitalism. It is a destructive force on modest local treasuries that pits one community against another, undermines the private sector venture capital and loan industries, increases taxes on the core population and defunds much needed public services. It's a loser for everyone except the top 2 percent. Lawmakers in Congress would do well by creating a law making such "incentive" activity illegal. That's what lawmakers are for.

Economic development incentives are designed to return to the State's Treasury more dollars than are granted in tax credits. -- Beckord

But from where are the dollars returned to the Treasury coming from? That revenue is coming from the paychecks of the workers while the tax credit dollars are recycled through the backdoor to the top profit collectors and dividend holders of the very company they're working for. This is wealth redistribution - only worse. It squeezes blood from a turnip and funnels it back to a bloated and carnivorous vampire. It's an outrage!

Lastly, Beckord frames the opposition to FJ's legislative goals and Walker's scorched earth budget as demonizers who are branding the state as anti-business and anti-corporation. When ironically, it was the mother lode chamber ship herself, the WMC, that pushed a media campaign during Doyle's last term doing just that - branding the state as an anti-business "Tax Hell."

On a related note: The Janesville Gazette, their affiliate Messenger publication and now Forward Janesville have all come out attempting to re-frame Wisconsinites contemplating boycott action against businesses that support Walker as ham-handed "zealots" who will only end up hurting their own local economy. False. (loud gameshow buzzer sound) Boycotting certain local businesses means other local businesses will see more economic activity. This in turn will create jobs and economic expansion where otherwise might not be possible. Consumers armed with the right information to support businesses that don't contribute to destructive causes will enjoy an individual enlightenment that can and will have a long lasting and positive pro-business effect on their quality of life and the community.

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